Vikings stadium rendering
MINNEAPOLIS - Backers of the controversial $1 billion Vikings stadium regularly hold the project up as an economic driver that will boost the state construction industry and rely heavily on Minnesota-derived materials.
Construction planners demonstrated last week that those goals are easier stated than achieved.
Take the steel that will make up the stadium skeleton and hold up the translucent roof. State lawmakers made clear they want northern Minnesota's Iron Range to be a major player.
But Mortenson Construction executive John Wood told the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority that some high-grade steel will be imported from Europe. Wood said that officials are
ordering from a Luxembourg manufacturer that's a global provider of the
Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen says some technical specifications are so precise that the construction team has few options. But she says officials are focused on spending much of the budget on local supplies and workers.
Former state House member Tom Rukavina says he's annoyed that the new Vikings stadium requires ore from overseas.
Wood says the 7,000 tons of steel that make up the perimeter can be drawn domestically, but even that will probably have only small traces of Minnesota in it.
Rukavina, a Democrat from Virginia, pushed for laws requiring that Minnesota-made products be used in state construction projects. He says the ore requirement contributed to the vote for the new Vikings stadium.
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